Daily Bursa Tour
Bursa, the fourth most populous city in Turkey, was the first capital of the Ottoman State between 1335 and 1413. The city was referred to as Hüdavendigar (meaning “God’s gift”) during the Ottoman period, while a more recent nickname is Yeşil Bursa (meaning “Green Bursa”) in reference to the parks and gardens located across its urban fabric, as well as to the vast and richly varied forests of the surrounding region. Including the ferry across the Izmit Bay, Bursa is at app. 3 hours driving distance from Istanbul and therefore, can be easly visited while staying there.
The Clock Tower was first build during the Sultan Abdulaziz Period of the Ottoman Empire (1861-1876) as a fire observation tower and it is still being used for the same purpose. The panaromic view of Bursa from here is remarkable.
App. 2 kilometers long Bursa Castle suffered damages during various sieges over time and has undergone several repairs during the Roman, Byzantine and the Ottoman Empire eras. During the Orhan Gazi era who added Bursa to the lands of Ottoman Empire in 1326, the walls were supported by bastions (towers). Famous Ottoman Traveler, Evliya Celebi who visited Bursa in 1640 stated that the castle had 67 towers, 5 gates and that the surrounding area is 10,000 steps.
The Tombs of Sultans Osman and Orhan
Osman Gazi was the founder and first sultan of the Ottoman Empire. His son Orhan conquered Bursa, which then became the capital of the Ottoman Empire for 130 years. The original tombs were totally destroyed by an earthquake in 1855 and the structures were rebuilt in 1868 by Sultan Abdulaziz in the Ottoman style. The tomb of Osman is the more decorative one of these two and sits amidst the ruins of a Byzantine monastery called St. Elie. The tomb of Orhan was built upon the floor mosaics of the St. Elie monastery.
Bursa Grand Mosque
The largest mosque in Bursa and a landmark of early Ottoman architecture. Ordered by Sultan Bayezid I, the mosque was designed and built by architect Ali Neccar in 1396–1400. It is a large and rectangular building, with a total of twenty domes that are arranged in four rows of five, and are supported by 12 columns. Supposedly the twenty domes were built instead of the twenty separate mosques which Sultan Bayezid I had promised for winning the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396. There is also a fountain (şadırvan) in the mosque and its dome is capped by a skylight which creates a soft, serene light below; thus playing an important role in the illumination of the large building.
Lunch Break – Iskender Kebap
As one of the most famous meat dishes of northwestern Turkey, this kebab takes its name from its inventor, Iskender Efendi, who lived in Bursa in the late 19th century. It is a kind of doner kebab prepared from thinly cut grilled lamb basted with hot tomato sauce, over pieces of pita bread and generously slathered with melted sheep butter and yogurt. Tomato sauce and boiling butter are usually poured over the dish, at the table. It is commonly consumed with sira (a Turkish non-alcoholic drink made from slightly fermented grape juice) as a drink to aid digestion.
Koza Han – The Silk Market
During the Byzantine period, Bursa was famous as a silk trading centre and the city’s silk trade continued to flourish during the Ottoman Empire when the Ottoman sultans controlled the trade routes between Europe and Asia. Koza Han was built by the great architect Abdul Ula Bin Pulat Sah by the order of Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II in 1491. Being an architectural masterpiece, the heritage of Ottoman, the deep touch of history, the grace of silk and inevitable attraction for the photographer, Koza Han is a two-storey inn located on the rectangle yard.
The Grand (Covered) Bazaar
The Koza Han is connected to Bursa’s bewildering covered bazaar, which extends in all directions through halls, into courtyards, down underground, along tiny passages and onto upper floor terraces looking down on tea gardens. At the centre of this covered bazaar, the bedesten (vaulted, fireproof enclosure for valuable goods) was built in the late 14th century by Yıldırım Beyazıt, although it was reconstructed after an earthquake in 1855. The market is renowned for its high-quality towels and bathrobes.
Green Mosque And Tomb
The mosque was built by prominent architect Hacı Ivaz Pasha at the request of Ottoman Sultan Celebi Mehmet between 1415 and 1419. Its ornamentations and handiworks were made by the period of great painters Haci Ali and Ilyas Ali. Also the grand artist Mehmet Mecnun furnished that spectacular mosque with splendid tiles. Established by Sultan Çelebi Mehmet in 1421, Green Tomb is placed on the hill accross to the Green Mosque. Its architect is the skilful artist Haci Ivaz Pasha. This tomb, which is one of the most important mausoleums in Bursa, is called “Green” because it is beautifully covered with green tiles.